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MikroMir Miles Magister RAAF Finished.


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I have been a bit quite on the forums lately. I used to do all of my updates whilst I was on overnights at work as it was a very useful way of spending my time in an outport. Due to the airline industry being completely turned upside down with COVID, after my 4 months of stand down, once I was back at work I have found myself doing far less overnights. When I am at home, the three kids keep us very busy, so any spare time where I can sneak off to the man cave without anyone noticing is spent frantically building, usually in short spurts before invariably being interrupted to perform any number of the numerous jobs required of being a Dad, in keeping 3 young boys from doing harm to the house, themselves or each other!

 

Anyway, enough of the excuses. I have a heavily modified WNW S.E.5a and also the new Eduard BF-108 on the verge of being finished. I felt that it would be good to put them aside for a while and come back to both of them with fresh eyes for the finishing touches. I always like to keep numerous models in various stages of completion and decided to start the brand new MikroMir kit.

 

This one is a fairly obscure RAAF type, with only one airframe taken on charge. This was used to compare its characteristics with the Tiger Moth and it was acquired in 1938. It never progressed further than flight trials and was transferred to No.1 FTS at Point Cook during 1940, where it was the shortly after converted to components at the engineering school. Only a few photos of the airframe exist, and after some research and consultation with Gary Byk from Red Roo Models, I have decided that it will be painted all over Hugh Speed silver, with polished metal cowl.

 

Some of the pics:


A51-1%20Laverton%201939-X2.jpg


A15-1%20Miles%20Magister%20tarmac,%20Pt%
 

The Hawker Demon in the background of this photo makes for a useful comparison of the colour.

A51-1%20unk-X3.jpg
 

 

On to the kit. This will be as out of the box as I can make it as I don’t want to be too tied up with a complex project. 
 

IMG_5826_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

The side walls of the cockpit are nice and crisp and well detailed, with the wing spars extending either side of the floor. These will come in handy later on to make the model quite strong, although I am anticipating a bit of difficulty with the fit of the wings. These parts have been primed and are ready for paint. There are no locating pins for the fuselage halves.

 

IMG_5830_HEIC-X5.jpg


One thing that is noticeable with the kit is that there is a fair bit of flash on quite a lot of parts. To be honest, I actually enjoy cleaning up parts and ‘blueprinting’ them on short run kits like these, it keeps the building skills sharp. Here is an example of a large piece of flash that I found on the trailing edge of the wing.

 

IMG_5828_HEIC-X5.jpg
 

The right side wing root had a short shot on its upper half with a fair sized portion of the fairing missing. This will be an easy fix and will be dealt with later.

 

IMG_5827_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

 

I found a small error in the instructions whilst assembling the wings and amended them as can be seen here. None of the parts are numbered on the sprues, so reference needs to be made to the parts map in the instructions.

 

IMG_5829_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

Edited by ericg
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On 11/18/2020 at 4:02 AM, Alain Gadbois said:

I noticed that this aircraft is an early type so has the short rudder (look at the shape of the top part), three part rear cockpit windscreen and the cowl is hinged at the centerline top and not side panels with fasteners.

 

Alain

Thanks for the info Alain. Since my last update, I had noticed the shorter rudder. Interestingly, I found a uncropped verion of one of the photos that I posted earlier, Which shows the same aircraft with a taller rudder as featured in the kit. I am unsure of the timeline history of this aircraft during its short RAAF service but it looks like it is parked next to a couple of Avro Kadets in this picture.

 

 A15_1-XL.jpg

 

Some more work. The kit includes photo etch instrument panels but I decided to use the plastic ones instead. I felt that they would be easier to attach inside the fuselage whilst not being any less detailed. I used the kit supplied decal instruments cut out to fit inside the instrument faces.

 

IMG_5924_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

The rudder pedals were enhanced with some Tamiya tape to depict the foot restraint straps.

 

IMG_5848_HEIC-X4.jpg

 

The kit cockpit is fairly spartan, so I added some silver wire to the the throttle and other lever linkages.Missing here is the right side rear cockpit fairing that holds some sort of cylinder. I will add the seats later.

 

IMG_5925_HEIC-X5.jpg

Edited by ericg
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7 hours ago, Alain Gadbois said:

I guess it was modified at some point, after the new rudder type was introduced.

Very good looking cockpit!

 

Alain

Thanks Alain.

 

The one example that the RAAF operated seems like a bit of a mix of types. It was in an early production batch along with 6 others that were destined for the Egyptian Army Air Force. It appears that at some stage, the shorter rudder was indeed replaced with a later, taller version. Not only was the rudder replaced, but the tailwheel was also moved, from on the sternpost (with a required cut away on the bottom leading edge of the rudder) to in front of it. Close comparison of the photos that I provided will show this. I agree with your observation that the aircraft had a 4 piece cowl instead of 5 and also that the rear windscreen was different and will modify my model to suit both of these early features... will see how I go and I might modify the rudder and tailwheel as well. No promises!. it seems like every time I try to add a new type to my RAAF collection, the razor saw comes out of the tool box! 

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Some more work.

 

If there is a chance to do something different to a model to make it unique, then I will usually go down that path. Upon discovering that the Magister that I was depicting originally had the shorter, broader rudder I thought about doing it to the model. Not only would this make the model different, but also it was a chance to develop my skill set. 

 

Here is the kit rudder fitted to the model:

 

IMG_5941_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

I cut the rudder into pieces at the point level to the sternpost.

 

IMG_5942_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

I then added an 8mm thick piece of plastic card to the leading edge and glued the forward piece of the rudder back on, you will notice I have marked where it was to be attached which corresponds with the top of the vertical stab.

 

IMG_5943_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

The rudder was then sanded with a very coarse sanding stick to shape it. The trailing edge of the rudder is angled a fair bit further forward and of course, the height has been significantly reduced.

 

IMG_5945_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

A coat of Mr Surfacer to see where it is at. I will refine this further and also add ribbing once I work out how I will do it. I will also  make a cut out at the bottom of the rudder for the new position of the tailwheel. More soon!

 

IMG_5947_HEIC-X5.jpg

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  • ericg changed the title to MikroMir Miles Magister RAAF Let the modifications begin.
On 11/24/2020 at 10:13 PM, ericg said:

Missing here is the right side rear cockpit fairing that holds some sort of cylinder.

I'm also building the kit but using far fewer bits in the cockpit as my fat fingers and eyes can't cope with all that tiny PE and I wont see it once complete. Your build looks great.

 

I came to the conclusion that it might be a fire extinguisher so have painted it copper, I don't think they were red at that time but could be wrong. 

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On 11/26/2020 at 7:55 PM, npb748r said:

I'm also building the kit but using far fewer bits in the cockpit as my fat fingers and eyes can't cope with all that tiny PE and I wont see it once complete. Your build looks great.

 

I came to the conclusion that it might be a fire extinguisher so have painted it copper, I don't think they were red at that time but could be wrong. 

I left a couple of parts out as well.

 

Some more work.

 

As I am now modelling an earlier mk. no. aircraft, I had to come up with a solution for the new tailwheel yoke which is attached further back on the sternpost. 

 

I made up a new yoke from a section of flat brass and tube with plastic card details. I soldered the brass pieces together and in total, the new part not including the tailwheel is 8 pieces. I also cut the tailwheel down the middle and added a shim of plastic card to increase its width slightly as I reckoned it looked a bit skinny as supplied in the kit. You can see the small holes that I have drilled in the kit that match up with the two small attachment lugs to give the part some strength.

 

IMG_5973_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

IMG_5972_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

I began working on the rib detail of the rudder. As this is a work in progress, I am still refining it!

 

I marked out the position of the ribs with pencil

 

IMG_5958_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

I then positioned a no.11 blade in the holder so that I could use it as a scraper. I worked up to the pencil line for each scallop.

 

IMG_5960_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

IMG_5961_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

Progress so far. Some further work will be required to sharpen each rib up a bit to match the horizontal stab.

 

IMG_5979_HEIC-X5.jpg

 

IMG_5981_HEIC-X4.jpg

 

 

 

 

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  • ericg changed the title to MikroMir Miles Magister RAAF Finished.

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